Facebook Insights Part One: Defining The Terms

There’s a massive amount of knowledge to be gleaned from the data Facebook provides about your page via Facebook Insights. But if you don’t know what they’re talking about, it isn’t going to help you one bit. So, as Part 1 of our three-part look at Facebook Insights, we’re going to start off with the basics: A vocabulary lesson.

(Note: I’ve taken the liberty of translating Facebook’s definitions into English. If you want Facebookese, you’ll need to look elsewhere.)

Page-level insights

Total likes: People who like your page. (I threw in an easy one to get your confidence up for the road ahead!)

Friends of fans: People who are friends with people who like your page.

People talking about this: People who have done what Facebook calls “creating a story.” By that, it means someone who has liked your page, posted on it, liked a post, commented on a post, answered a question, RSVP’d to an event, mentions your page in a post, tagged you in a photo, checked in, shared a check-in deal, liked a check-in deal or wrote a recommendation.

Weekly total reach: All the people who have seen any of your page’s content, whether or not they are your fans. That means it includes non-likes who saw your content in their friends’ news feeds. This number also includes people who saw your paid ads and sponsored stories.

Total subscribes: People who have subscribed to your page.

Post-level insights

Reach: The number of people who had a particular post loaded into their news feed.

Engaged users: People who have clicked on your post. That doesn’t just mean likes, comments and shares. It also includes video plays, photo views and other views (i.e. clicking to see who liked a status.)

Talking about this: Again, pretty much anyone who has had interaction with your post that will show up in their friends’ news feed.

Virality: Represented as a percentage, people who interacted with your post out of all the people who saw it.

An explanation on reach

Meddling around your insights, you’ll see there are three kinds of reach: Organic, viral and paid.

• Organic: People who saw your post in their news feed or on your page.

• Viral: People who saw a post because someone engaged with the post in some way, meaning someone’s action was seen in another’s news feed. Can include people who don’t like your page.

• Paid: The number of people who saw a post from a paid ad or sponsored story.

Odds and ends

For those brave enough, you can export Insights data. By doing so, Facebook will create a spreadsheet of more data than you’ll ever need. Most information is broken down into time frames, including daily, weekly, 28 days and lifetime. Most categories within that spreadsheet are explained in the above terminology. Some are not, including the following:

Impressions: Anytime a post was loaded into the browser, whether it was displayed on screen or not. That means it could have been loaded into the newsfeed but the user didn’t scroll down to see it. Same concepts apply for impressions in regard to organic, viral and paid.

Negative feedback: When someone hides a post in their news feed, reports it as spam, or hides all posts from your page.

A final word

Keep this guide handy when you’re trying to decipher your Insights data. And come back next week when we explain how the rules have changed in regard to organic reach and how it affects you.

Thanks for reading,

Drew Larison